THE WELL Q&A: Yamuna Zake

Bodywork expert Yamuna Zake shares her perspective on wellness and longevity.

Yamuna Zake

Yamuna Zake is a master teacher of body sustainability and the founder of the company Yamuna. She is dedicated to helping people self-heal through simple and easy-to-use programs that teach you how to care for each part of the body. Her new book The Foot Fix helps people understand how to rebuild healthy foot function (in just 4 weeks).

RELATED: How to Activate Your Feet

What brought you to wellness?

When I was 14 years old, I started studying Hatha Yoga, became a vegetarian and read a great deal about nutrition. Since then almost everything I have been involved with has had to do with wellness. All of my educational programs, through the Yamuna brand, teach a mindful approach to the body.

What does wellness mean to you?

For me, wellness is about making healthy choices in all aspects of your life.

One lesson you’ll take away from the COVID-19 pandemic?

I taught 80 days of free breathing classes on Facebook and Instagram. It was so wonderful to connect with people all over the world and teach what I call Expansive Breathing. I received testimonials from people everywhere that these classes helped them cope with anxiety, fear, sleepless nights and get rid of their aches and pains. It helped me learn just how powerful online classes are and how many more people I can reach and help.

Name three non-negotiables in your life.

Honesty. Living my life as freely as possible. Cherishing and nurturing my friendships.

Snack you pack when you’re on the go?

None. I don’t think about food unless it is time to sit down and eat a meal.

Best beauty/grooming secret?

Korean face masks, my Yamuna Hair and Scalp Oil, Yamuna Bath Salts and a Russian Turkish Bath House.

Morning and/or bedtime rituals?

Each morning I do 60-90 minutes of breath practice and three times a week I do Yamuna Save Your Face for 15-20 minutes before getting out of bed.

For bedtime, I like to soak in one of my Bath Salt Blends either to relax my muscles or to deeply penetrate the bones.

Wellness travel essentials?

A portable air purifier that I always take on planes. Korean Face masks, nutritional supplements, Yamuna balls for taking care of my body and Foot Wakers or Savers for my feet.

The key to a good night's sleep?

A relaxing bath, making sure my magnesium levels are what they should be, using blackout curtains and keeping the window open for fresh cool air to circulate.

When you really need to chill out, you…

Breathe, get on the mat and do Yamuna Body Rolling or dance.

Instant mood lifter?

Breath work

Food philosophy?

I mostly eat a vegetarian diet, but I do eat fish and goat or sheep cheese for protein. I eat lots of green vegetables and I avoid grains, pasta, rice and bread. Unfortunately, I do like sweets but not if they are too healthy.

Most used condiments?

Olive oil, lemons, salt and pepper.

How do you take your coffee or tea?

I love coffee with cream and plain herbal tea.

Hydration strategy?

I drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily, plus a protein drink.

Simple smoothie recipe?

I don’t like too many ingredients. I use Bulletproof plain collagen mixed with half water and half apple juice.

Words to live by?

Turn every difficult situation into a positive one. No matter what challenging things happen in my life, I immediately look at what I am supposed to learn from them and come up with a new positive creation. My first injury was during the birth of my daughter. After that, I created all the Yamuna work. I healed myself and brought all my teachings to others.

How do you reboot?

I take a long swim in the sea (if I am near one) or go into a room and breathe. Alternatively, I take 15 minutes and work on recharging my feet and then I am good to go. My new book, The Foot Fix, shares my foot concepts with the world.

Preferred mode of movement?
When you feel a cold coming on you…

Take Yin Chou, a Chinese medicine which can nip it in the bud.

Weirdest wellness trend you've ever tried?

A fast that combined drinking heavy cream and olive oil first thing in the morning.

What's sacred to you?

Time spent meditating and breathing. Time alone, in nature, with my daughter and with my closest friends. Love is our most sacred gift — let that feeling be felt and shared.

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